A robot changes colors according to its environment, like a chameleon

A robot changes colors according to its environment, like a chameleon

Discover the chameleon, this animal with amazing faculties. "Lion of the soil" for the Greeks, it is a wonder of nature. You will see him here in his works, able to move with great stability in the branches to catch insects with a method that belongs only to him. And of course, our hero will change color...

A team of Korean researchers has just developed a chameleon robot wrapped in a membrane that changes color to imitate its environment. This technology could have applications in architecture and fashion.

The ability of chameleons to change color has long intrigued scientists. This camouflage technique is a goal for many researchers, and could have practical applications in many fields, including robotics. Korean researchers have just created a new robot capable of blending into the background. They published the details of their research in the journal Nature Communications.

Chameleons are able to change color by contracting muscles under the skin, which act on nanocrystals. Researchers had previously succeeded in creating a covering with a similar ability, which reacts when bent or stretched. However, the Korean team opted for a different route, using heat.

A change of color thanks to heat

The scientists created a soft robot with a "skin" made of a layer of thermochromic liquid crystals. Underneath this, they placed a structure composed of several layers of silver nanowires that serve as heating elements. This structure allows the robot not only to change color, but also to create patterns to better blend into the background.

The robot is equipped with sensors to detect the colors of its environment connected to a microcontroller that translates the color into temperature and allows the robot to change color in real time. The robot is not yet able to generate patterns automatically, but this is one of the next goals. Eventually, the researchers envision applications not only for military camouflage, but also in architecture, art and fashion.


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